You know how sometimes, when you have a pimple and you're looking in the mirror in the morning, desperately trying to cover it up with makeup (which usually just makes it look more gross but less red), you tell yourself that nobody else really notices your pimples?
I do that. In fact, I usually believe myself because, frankly, I hardly ever notice flaws in my friends' skin--and my friends probably don't actually all have perfect skin.
This week, for whatever reason, my entire system seems to be erupting with hormones, and my skin has not escaped. My face is a landscape of volcanoes. My T-zone (usually the oily trouble area comprising forehead, nose, and chin) has expanded to envelop my entire face.
And my dear, sweet, empathic, 16-month-old daughter will not stop furrowing her brow when she looks at me. She reaches out to my face with one finger, touching my zits one by one with a look of great concern on her face.
"Ow," she says.
I guess that means I can't pretend that my breakout is invisible to everyone else. But I can take comfort in the fact that my daughter has a well-developed sense of empathy and concern for other individuals. You win some, you lose some.
Following the lead of a smart and sassy mom friend of mine, I made this incentive chart as the new approach for getting Arlo to sleep in his own bed.
When we were at Target last weekend, Arlo was drooling over a Lightning McQueen (of "Cars" fame) comforter and race-car-shaped pillow. We had already purchased the sheet set for him, hoping that it would make him want to sleep in his bed, but having the sheets apparently was not enough incentive. Seeing my opportunity, I told him that if he slept in his bed 14 times (two weeks, but not necessarily consecutively), we'd bring him back to Target to get the comforter and pillow.
It's not like Arlo has never slept in his own bed. The problem is that we only have two bedrooms. The kids were supposed to share a room--but it hasn't worked out until now. First, Mae was in our room and Arlo was happily sleeping in his own big boy bed. Then when Mae was big enough to go to her crib in their room, she wasn't a sound enough sleeper to handle Arlo being put to bed in the same room--so they swapped. We set up a little sleeping area for Arlo in our room. "Temporarily."
That was, erm, 8 months ago? How embarrassing.
Now that Mae is sleeping soundly in her crib, we've discovered that Arlo really LIKES being back in our room with us--and it has been a struggle to convince him to go back to their room. If he puts up a fight, we run the risk of waking Mae and having TWO screaming children--so we're using more diplomatic means to achieve our goals.
Arlo has earned two stickers so far. We gave him the first for taking a good nap in his bed on Monday (he was home sick, so Mae was not home) and he earned the second one for going to sleep in his bed last night. (YAY! Mae stayed asleep!) Even though he crept into our bed at about 2 a.m., we've decide to reward every successful effort, even if it's not 100%.
Last night, Ted and I went to bed, turned on our bedside lamps, and ACTUALLY READ before we went to sleep. Ahhhh, the luxury of adult bedtime!